When you’re arranging your decor, it’s easy to get caught up in the details and lose sight of the big picture. Then, when you finally take a step back, it doesn’t look so great. Ugh…time to start over.
A better way to approach interior styling is to check in periodically with the big picture. Take a step back more than once and make sure you’ve got your styling bases covered.
1. Do I have enough height variation?
You don’t want your decor to be monotonous. Varying heights in an arrangement adds visual interest. You don’t need a huge difference in height, just a noticeable one.
If you said no, then what can you do to vary the height of one of the objects in your arrangement? Can you raise it up on a stack of books? Put the candle on a flat dish instead of a candleholder? Use a plate holder to give a frame a boost?
It’s not enough to simply stagger heights, you also need to know how to arrange your decor by height for maximum visual appeal.
2. What defines this as a grouping?
Ever noticed how clutter looks instantly better when you plop it on a tray? It’s because the tray creates a grouping and gives order to the chaos. It creates a boundary. It makes anything, even random things, look like they belong together.
You can use the same trick for your decor.
What can you use to visually group your decor together? Think of something horizontal you can add under the grouping, like a tray, a placemat, or a large book.
3. How can I add another layer?
Layers create texture. They give you a chance to create contrast. Layers can be vertical or horizontal.
For a vertical layer, can you lean a frame or mirror behind your grouping? Bonus if it contrasts with your main decor to help it stand out better.
For a horizontal layer, you might already have this covered if you used one of the suggestions above to visually group your decor. But an extra layer can create contrast or make a space cozier. For example, putting a faux sheepskin on a bench before topping it off with a tray.
4. What’s my theme?
A theme connects the pieces of an arrangement together and references the overall theme of the room. It doesn’t have to be an overt theme, like nautical. Your theme might be a texture, a color, a style, or a story. A theme appears through repetition of similar elements.
Why are you putting this decor together? What connects it? How does it relate to the rest of the room?
5. What’s the bridge?
In the context of theme, intentional repetition is good. But too much of the same is boring. This usually a problem when all your decor is vertical or horizontal, because there’s nothing bridging those planes.
So if you have a grouping with a lot of vertical objects, like a cluster of vases, what can you do to break it up? To create interest? To change the pattern?
You need to add more dimension to your decor. The easiest way to do this is with a decorative object.
What object could you add that isn’t easily defined as vertical or horizontal? What can you use to break up the monotony? What can bridge the horizontal decor and the vertical decor?
The next time you rearrange your decor, keep these 5 questions in mind. Each time you step back to check your progress, check in to see if you are addressing these 5 key areas to good looking decor.